“Black” 1986: the liquidators of the Chernobyl accident share their memories

Anatoly Chemeris, the liquidator of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, now a member of the regional association “Chernobyl Union”, the chairman of the Council of Elders of Tomsk, the honored military builder, the retired colonel shared his memories. In 1986, Anatoly Chemeris was the head of the department of the enterprise SMU-7 “HimStroy.” In the evening of April 26, after the minister’s call, he and his leader flew to Moscow. There they were instructed to organize areas for construction of a “sarcophagus”.
“We were trying to create special conditions in the situation where our people worked, we had to close block number 4 with a solid reinforced concrete shirt until the end of 1986, while inflicting minimal damage to  health of our people,” the liquidator of the Chernobyl NPP wrote in the book.
“The first day on the contaminated land was remembered by the fact that it was impossible to breathe without respirators tearing my throat.” On the way to Chernobyl, a flock of crows accompanied us (there were no other birds there), in 1200 km from the flock of birds only a few remained We saw how columns of cars with people, livestock, things and equipment came towards us, all faces were tense, like in 1941. They talked among themselves: “Death tolls have arrived.” These were most memorable moments left in my memory “, – says Anat Chemeris.
Work was conducted round the clock. At station people worked shifts for 3 hours. In the links worked for 15 minutes. Next to the group was a dosimetrist. Anatoly Fyodorovich spent two months in Chernobyl. Has typed norm or rate – 25 roentgens, and it have sent home. After returning home, Anatoly Chemeris’ health was greatly shaken.
“Standing on his feet could only be 15 minutes, then falling.” The constant vomiting, the head ached, as if compressed by an elastic band. “In general, the condition was very difficult, the disease lasted 15 years, 7 months of which I had to move on crutches,” recalls the participant in the accident elimination .
After Chernobyl, the Soviet Union was shocked by yet another tragedy – a catastrophic earthquake in Armenia that occurred on December 7, 1988 in the city of Spitaki. The intensity of the tremors reached 9-10 points. Anatoly Chemeris led the restoration work in Spitak in 1989. After work in Armenia in the rank of colonel, he was demobilized, at that time he was 56 years old. In 1992, Anatoly Chemeris became chairman of the Tomsk Union of the Union “Chernobyl”. And since 2010 – Chairman of the Council of Elders of Tomsk.
To clean the air in Chernobyl was connected to aviation, which began to water the area with latex and sulfite-spill bard. Over the summer, the pilots did not allow a single rain. All possible surface water runoffs were blocked, and a concrete wall in the ground depth of 30 m, which covered all groundwater flows from the station in the direction of the Pripyat River, was built around the station. All motorways and platforms were thoroughly cleaned by wet and dry method from all kinds of dirt.
“After analyzing the state of affairs in the reactor, we searched for the best solution all night long, then we found the best option and decided to build a biological wall.The radiation situation after its gate improved tenfold.This event happened on July 10, 1986. The preparatory period for the concreting of the biological wall came. The length of the wall was more than 500 m, height about 10 m. On July 28, the biological wall against the blocks 3 and 4 was concreted, all conditions were created for further attack on the reactor, “says Anatoly Fedor HIV.
The first change of liquidators improved the radiation situation at Chernobyl NPP 102 times, made an approach to the 4th block, closed the main sources of radiation with a biological wall, created a base for housing and production. The second shift removed the walls of the “Sarcophagus”, the third shift mounted the overhead, the equipment and created a system for radiation purification of air, which allowed the commissioning of the Sarcophagus for a month ahead of the deadline until November 1986.
In the elimination of the accident for all time, more than 600 thousand people took part. All lived in different conditions and in different places. Soldiers lived in tent camps over a 30-kilometer zone. About how the soldiers lived, the editors tvtomsk.ru told another liquidator, the commander of the platoon of material security of the regiment, Sergei Maslov.
“The soldiers slept in tents for 10 people, the officers in the tents had 4-6 beds, electricity was produced in power plants running on gasoline, and therefore in the evening there was a continuous rumbling over the camp.” The food was three meals a day, food was taken in huge tents equipped with a dining room.All products were canned. ”
“Most of the personnel went to the decontamination of settlements in the morning after breakfast, another part of the personnel was taken to the station in the city of Pripyat Every day after the working day the records of the accumulated radiation were recorded, each person was given a personal dosimeter.Only, new clothes, impregnated with a special solution, The old one was buried outside the camp in the pits.

Text: GTRK “Tomsk”

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